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The recent development of high power lasers, delivering femtosecond pulses of intensities up to 1020 W/cm2, has led to the discovery of new phenomena in laser interactions with matter. At these enormous laser intensities, atoms and molecules are exposed to extreme conditions and new phenomena occur, such as very rapid multiphoton ionization of the...
The recent development of high power lasers, delivering femtosecond pulses of intensities up to 1020 W/cm2, has led to the discovery of new phenomena in laser interactions with matter. At these enormous laser intensities, atoms and molecules are exposed to extreme conditions and new phenomena occur, such as very rapid multiphoton ionization of the atomic system, the emission by these systems of very high order harmonics of the exciting laser light, the Coulomb explosion of molecules, and the acceleration of electrons close to the velocity of light. These phenomena generate new behaviour of bulk matter in intense laser fields, with great potential for wide ranging applications which include the study of ultra-fast process, the development of high-frequency lasers and the investigation of the properties of plasmas and condensed matter under extreme conditions of temperature and pressure. In particular, the concept of `fast ignitor' approach to inertial confinement fusion (I.C.F.) has been proposed, which is based on the separation of the compression and the ignition phases in laser-driven ICF. The papers published in this book cover all the main aspects of laser interactions with atoms, solids and plasmas at high intensities. We hope that they will provide scientists from various disciplines with a comprehensive survey of the subject, and a self-contained source from which to pursue a systematic study of the field.
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